WRAP-UP: SWBTS adds 5 to faculty

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary elected five new faculty members during their fall meeting at the Fort Worth, Texas, campus.

Three current administrators will be joining the school of theology faculty while continuing in their current positions: Thomas White, vice president for student services and communications, as associate professor of systematic theology; Mark Leeds, registrar and associate vice president for institutional research and assessment, as assistant professor of systematic theology; and Jason Duesing, chief of staff in the office of the president, as assistant professor of historical theology. Both White and Leeds have been teaching at the seminary for the past two years.

Also elected to the faculty during the trustees' Oct. 21-22 sessions were Dongsun Cho as assistant professor of historical theology in the school of theology and Michael Keas as assistant professor of history and philosophy of science in the College at Southwestern.

The faculty elections will be effective Jan. 1.

White earned a Ph.D. (2005) and an M.Div. (2001) from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and his B.A. in English from Anderson College in Anderson, S.C., in 1997. White served as director of leadership development at Southwestern from 2004-06 and director of student life at Southeastern Seminary from 2001-04. He and his wife Joy have one child, Rachel.

Leeds earned a Ph.D. (2005) and an M.Div. (2000) from Southeastern Seminary and a B.S. in biomedical science from Texas A & M University in 1996. Leeds served as assistant registrar at Southeastern Seminary from 2000-04 before joining Southwestern as registrar. He and his wife Jennifer have three children, Amber, Jason and Jacob.

Duesing is a Ph.D. candidate in historical theology at Southwestern, expecting graduation in December 2008. He received an M.Div. from Southeastern Seminary in 2002 and a B.A. in speech communications from Texas A & M University in 1998. Duesing has served as chief of staff in the president's office since 2006 and previously served as assistant to the president from 2003-06. He also has served as a teaching assistant at Southwestern since 2005 and as a member of the editorial board of the Center for Theological Research. Duesing and his wife Kalee have two children, Gracyn and Ford.

Cho received both a Ph.D. (2008) and Th.M. (1999) from Southwestern; an M.Div. from the Korea Baptist Theological Seminary in Daejon, Korea, in 1997; and a B.A. in English literature and language at Soongsil University in Seoul, Korea, in 1994. He has been associate pastor and interim pastor at several churches in Texas and earned the James Leo and Myrta Ann Garrett Award in Historical Theology at Southwestern in 1999. Cho and his wife Connie have two children, Stephanie and Daniel.

Keas received both a Ph.D. (1992) and M.A. (1989) in history of science from the University of Oklahoma. He has served as professor of history and philosophy of science at Biola University and associate professor of natural science at Oklahoma Baptist University. He also has served as a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute since 2000 and as co-director of the American Council of Learned Sciences under a $50,000 grant for the Planetarium Cosmology and Cultures Curriculum Project at Oklahoma Baptist University since 1997. Keas and his wife Christine have one child, Josiah.

Also during the meeting, trustees honored Jack and Barbara MacGorman, Jim and June Richards and John and Virginia Seelig as this year's L.R. Scarborough Award recipients, named in honor of the Southwestern's second president who sustained and furthered the passion for evangelism and missions held by the seminary's founder, B.H. Carroll.

J.W. "Jack" MacGorman, professor of New Testament from 1948-92 and a noted author, was born in Canada but came to the United States to further his education, earning a B.A. from the University of Texas (1945); a B.D. (1948) and Th.D. (1956) from Southwestern; and a Ph.D. from Duke University (1965). MacGorman taught as an adjunct faculty member until 2001.

Jim Richards, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, earned two undergraduate degrees before starting his seminary education. He holds an M.Div. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and D.Min. from the Memphis-area Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Richards served as senior pastor of churches in Louisiana for 21 years before moving to Arkansas as director of missions at the Northwest Baptist Association in 1995. After serving there three years, he moved to Texas to help establish the SBTC. Under his leadership, the convention has increased from 120 to nearly 2,100 churches and has given many financial gifts to help Southwestern train scholars for ministry, including $300,000 toward Southwestern's new chapel.

John Seelig (B.S. 1946, M.R.E. 1969 from Southwestern) served at the seminary for three decades as vice president for public affairs. Southwestern experienced exponential growth in various areas, including increases in endowment funds from $4.4 million to $50 million and assets from $13.6 million to more than $100 million. Southwestern's campus added eight buildings. Seelig initiated the President's Club, the Founders' Circle, the Distinguished Alumni Awards and the B.H. Carroll Awards. His wife Virginia (B.S. 1946, M.M. 1969), who served as an associate professor of voice for 27 years, is an accomplished vocalist, with performances ranging from opera and musical theater to oratorios and several Billy Graham crusades.

In other business, the trustees:

-- approved a study to explore the timing and appropriate planning of improvements in student housing.

-- approved three B.H. Carroll Award recipients for the spring 2009: Bob Lansford and Mr. and Mrs. David Moon.


Keith Collier is a writer for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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